An Ohio doctor faces 25 murder charges after prosecutors say he prescribed patients excessive amounts of painkillers, including fentanyl

  • An Ohio doctor pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to 25 counts of murder, after prosecutors alleged that he prescribed patients excessive amounts of pain medication.
  • Dr. William Husel, 43, turned himself in to police Wednesday morning, and his bond was set at $1 million after his arraignment.
  • Each of the murder charges he faces could yield a prison sentence of 15 years to life.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

An Ohio doctor has pleaded not guilty to 25 counts of murder, after prosecutors alleged that he prescribed patients excessive amounts of pain medication, including fentanyl, and “purposely caused their death.”

Dr. William Husel, 43, turned himself in to the Columbus Division of Police Wednesday morning.

Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Ron O’Brien said in a statement that Husel prescribed patients between 500 and 2,000 micrograms of fentanyl “that shortened their life and hastened or caused their death.”

Each of the murder charges he faces could yield a prison sentence of 15 years to life.

Court records show that the alleged murders took place between February 2015 and November 2018. Husel worked at the Mount Carmel and St. Ann’s hospitals in Columbus.

Read more: The Homeland Security Department is considering labeling fentanyl a ‘weapon of mass destruction’

O’Brien told reporters at a press conference Wednesday that Husel’s case stood out to him amid in his decades of experience.

“I would say that I’ve been prosecuting for 22 years, and I’ve not seen a 25-count murder indictment during these 22 years,” he said.

O’Brien also said it was likely other people Husel worked with knew he was prescribing excessive doses of fentanyl, but said he didn’t expect to bring criminal charges against anyone else at the hospital.

“We focused on the primary person who caused that chain of events to begin and continue,” he said. “Questions were raised at the time by pharmacists and nurses, and an explanation was given that met at least their standards at the time, and then failed to kick it up the chain of command.”

O’Brien also said it was a pharmacist who first blew the whistle and notified the hospital of concerns about Husel’s work, which helped launch prosecutors’ investigation.

Husel’s bond was set at $1 million, court records show.